Out of the Box!
Yesterday, Wil Wheaton blogged about using Linux to access a USB scanner that wouldn't work for him under OSX. I'm not a zealot, and I truly appreciate folks being honest and sensible regarding what operating system they use. Wil uses OSX on his Apple computer, and it does what he needs. I can appreciate that. Yet, he still loves Linux, and doesn't hesitate to show off its shiny bits. (I feel the same way about Ferraris. I may not use one on a daily basis, but I sure do love 'em!)
His blog post really got me thinking about the dichotomy in regards to hardware support under Linux. There are two distinct categories: Things that work out of the box, with little or no configuration, and things that don't work at all or require extensive geekery to use. Thankfully, the first category is getting much bigger than the second.
Wil hit the nail on the head with this one. He booted a Live CD, and had full support for the scanner he plugged in. Chances are, any other operating system would require installing drivers. The thing about that is, once you start adding more and more 3rd party code, things can get messy, as Mr. Wheaton found out with his iMac running OSX.
Most cameras work with most computers driver-free. This is also true in Linux. I'm sure there are some cameras that aren't recognized, but with cameras -- generally you can take out the media card and plug it into a standard USB media reader.
Webcams are a sticky wicket. On most laptops with built-in webcams, Linux recognizes them without any problem. Oddly, many USB webcams are not so awesome. Buying a webcam for a desktop machine can be extremely frustrating. I'll take this opportunity to point out it's not because Linux is lacking -- it's because vendors are short sighted (or paranoid, or close minded, or ignorant, or one of any number of afflictions). My point? Be careful if you buy USB webcams, I have a drawer full of non compatible ones...
Love 'em or hate 'em, iPods are still the most common music/media players. Thankfully a lack of cooperation from Apple hasn't hindered the Linux community. Almost every iPod branded device can be synced with Linux. Granted, new iterations from Cupertino take a bit to get distro support, but in general it's possible before too long.
The other end of the spectra is the huge number of devices that only support Microsoft Windows. Often (but not always), those devices can be synced using the MTP protocol under Linux. The best idea when buying a portable device is still to check for compatibility. While I don't have quite a drawer full of incompatible MP3 players, I do have a handful.
I'm not sure what happened in recent years, but printer support in Linux has greatly improved. I'm sure there are countless cheap inkjet printers that won't work under your favorite distro -- but really, don't buy those anyway. Even if you're not a Linux user!
I think part of the improvement for Linux support is thanks to Apple. Since OSX uses CUPS for their print system, vendors are making their printers more and more CUPS friendly. That is very good news for those of us with more Linuxy interests in mind. Checking for compatibility is always a good idea, but things are looking up.
So now it's up to you. Do you have a particular device that drives you nuts compatibility-wise? Do you miss installing drivers? Are you jealous Wil got to sit in Sheldon's spot?
Thanks to Wil Wheaton for permission to use his awesome-as-all-get-out photo!
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide